The List 8/5 – Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Monday

Nick Pollack released his weekly update, ranking the Top 100 Starting Pitcher rankings for fantasy baseball.

[pitcher_list_new list_id=”34862″]


Fringe Starters


Pitcher Why They Missed The Cut
Max Scherzer On the IL with a back injury – The #1 SP when he returns
Andrew Heaney On the IL with a shoulder injury – Top 40 SP
Yonny Chirinos On the IL with a finger injury – Top 45 SP
John Means On the IL with biceps injury – Top 80 SP (he’s a Toby)
Tyler Mahle On the IL with a hamstring injury – Top 70 SP
Michael Pineda On the IL with triceps injury – Top 80 SP
Hyun-Jin Ryu On the IL with a neck injury – Top 10 SP
Carlos Carrasco On the IL with leukemia – Top 20 SP
Corey Kluber On the IL with a forearm injury – Top 10 SP
Zach Davies On the IL with back injury – Top 90 SP
Jameson Taillon On the IL with an elbow injury – Top 25 SP
Tyler Glasnow On the IL with forearm strain – Top 25 SP
Luke Weaver On the IL with a forearm strain – Top 35 SP
Brad Peacock On the IL with a shoulder injury – Top 60 SP
Rich Hill On the IL with flexor strain – Top 40 SP
Pablo Lopez On the IL with back injury – Top 60 SP
Griffin Canning On the IL with elbow inflammation – Top 45 SP
Brandon Woodruff On the IL with an oblique injury – Top 30 SP
Danny Salazar On The IL with a groin injury – Fringe Top 100 when pitching
Frankie Montas Suspended 80 games
Matt Strahm Demoted to bullpen
Michael Wacha Demoted to bullpen
Zach Eflin Demoted to bullpen
Nick Pivetta Demoted to the bullpen
Jesus Luzardo In Triple-A – Top 50 SP
Mitch Keller Demoted to Triple-A – Top 60 SP
Jose Urquidy Demoted to Triple-A – Top 70 SP
Jimmy Nelson Demoted to bullpen
Kevin Gausman Expected to head to bullpen after acquired by Reds from Braves
Daniel Mengden He’s a Toby at best
Tommy Milone Too risky over the other options
Jake Faria Called up to replace Davies, if he starts and looks solid, could be on List soon
Daniel Poncedeleon I wonder if he can really put it together instead of being a major liability
Trent Thornton The strikeout upside is interesting, but it’s too low of a floor
Luis Severino The recent injury news sets him back to mid-August hopefully. He’ll be Top 15 then.
Jhoulys Chacin Even his recent stretch isn’t worth the floor
Ivan Nova Just not enough upside and while he’s a decent streamer, it’s never for a high ceiling.


What is happening!

It’s another week and another edition of the Top 100 Starting Pitchers for Fantasy Baseball.

Before I dive into the player notes, here’s an outline of how I’m handling The List this season:

  • Previous/Best/Worst columns removed
    • These took a heavy chunk of loading time and ultimately provided very little value. The change arrows themselves are all that’s needed
  • Tiers added
    • As much as I hate making tiers (When do they start and end? How big are the cliffs?), ya’ll have been asking for them and I’m here for all of you. Please understand how hard it is to accurately place them and don’t get too worked up about it.
  • Labels added
    • There’s often confusion as to why a pitcher is a spot or two above or below another. These labels should help understand what each pitcher brings to the table, showing that some pitchers may be better or worse for what you need.
    • Hover over them (or tap on mobile) to see each label’s name next to the pitcher.
    • Ratio Focused = Their value lies in you chasing their ERA/WHIP more than strikeouts and Wins.
    • Toby = Boring arm that doesn’t excite you, but you stare at the waiver wire and accept that he just okay enough. You don’t like that he’s around the office, but he gets his work done.
    • Cherry Bomb = Volatile pitchers who are either “super sweet” or “blow up in your face.” Heed warning.
    • Ace Potential = I define an ace as: 3.40 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 24% K rate, 6.0 IPS. It’s why you see some surprising names as having the upside of an ace.
  • Fringe Starters added
    • There are always a handful of starters I badly want to add to The List but I don’t have enough room. I’ll always have this table at the end for a collection of starters – in no order – that I also heavily considered, as well as why they could be relevant
    • This will be where IL Players will land. I’ll mention where they would slot when healthy.

Please let me know how you feel about these changes and I’m looking forward to another fun year assessing the wonderful entity that is the SP Landscape.

On to the notes! Remember, these ranks are for 12-teamers in H2H categories leagues.


Player Notes


  • Another Top arm bit the dust with Hyun-Jin Ryu hitting the Il with a neck injury because Dodgeritis is a thing. It’s unclear how long he’s out for, but understand the innate +1 bump given to nearly all.
  • Chris Sale fell, but not as much as I’d imagine some would expect – his ceiling is well intact as well are the strikeouts and with some bad matchups behind him, Sale will win weeks across the next two months.
  • I served a drop to David Price as he simply hasn’t found his rhythm over the last month. Yu Darvish and Jack Flaherty are close behind as they’ve been incredibly impressive over the same period, plus Cole Hamels returned to fanfare and should be a strong option the rest of the way.
  • Zac Gallen saw a significant bump as he’s pitching on point as of late (this move has nothing to do with his trade to Arizona, which is a lateral move overall, maybe a few wins but worse home park), while Kenta Maeda hasn’t pitched five full frames since July 12th.
  • Our poster boy Aaron Sanchez heads to the bottom of Tier 5 as his move to Houston only helps, including reinforcement of his recently tweaked repertoire.
  • Tier 6 is filled with names that keep rising each week. Mike Fiers continues his unreal streak, Alex Wood looked sharp against the Braves, and Brad Keller still has two ticks more velocity than the spring.
  • Tier 7 has some surprises. Mike Foltynewicz is returning to the majors but we just don’t know what we’re going to get yet. Devin Smeltzer has taken injured Michael Pineda’s place in the rotation and could stick around for solid value for weeks. Reynaldo Lopez isn’t throwing as hard as two weeks ago and faces a tough schedule, forcing a drop, while Drew Smyly should be added in the short term and Dustin May could be a strong asset for the Dodgers. Joe Musgrove and Asher Wojciechowski are trending in the wrong direction, Jake Junis has pitched well despite poor end lines, and Alex Young joins the List despite sub 90 mph velocity as a possible Toby.
  • Vince Velasquez has turned into a decent streaming option, Spencer Turnbull is making his return from the IL Monday and we have no idea how he’ll perform, Chase Anderson is hot but is sure to cool down, and Taylor Clarke’s slider makes him a possible streaming strikeout option.
  • Daniel Norris finally makes it onto The List with improved velocity and refined secondary pitches in his slider and changeup, while the possible rebound of Marco Gonzales and surprise of Pedro Payano have lost their helium.

(Photo by Justin Paradis – @FreshmeatComm)

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

18 responses to “The List 8/5 – Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Monday”

  1. Syryn says:

    Not a fan of dropping Sale. He still is Top 3 in the league in xFIP, SIERRA, and K%. Think this drop is unwarranted if we are taking ROS.

    • rainmaker says:

      None of that takes into account how hard he gets hit. He is 25th about SP in Statcast xwOBA due to career highs (since statcast) in exit velocity, barrels, and hard hit% (all 3 below league average). At this point I too would prefer the steadiness of Kershaw/Greinke to Sale’s upside so it looks right to me.

  2. David Bullard says:

    You have Anibal instead of Aaron Sanchez at 54

  3. Lance'll Make Her Dance says:

    Just here to campaign for my guy lance lynn getting the AGA label (i know you gave it to him in the recaps, but im fighting for him to get that dark blue square on The List as well <3

  4. Frank the Tank says:

    Nick, let’s talk injured pitchers. I only have one DL spot available. Who do you hold for the rest of season?

    R. Stripling
    G. Canning
    L. Severino

    • WheelhouseWreck says:

      I’m not Nick, but deducing from the List, it’s gotta be Severino

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Canning. He should be back pretty soon.

      Severino will be used in relief and I don’t think Stripling will be of much use the rest of the way.

  5. PitcherList OG says:

    Hey Nick,

    I own Sale, Castillo, Clevinger, Boyd, Smith and Giolito.

    Lynn is available on the wire in my shallow 8 teamer that doesn’t do trades. It doesn’t feel right, but dropping Giolito for Lynn is the right move here, correct?

  6. J.C. Mosier says:

    Required reading, as always, but it seems counterintuitive that you’ve got an AGA (Price) ranked below two who don’t even have ace potential (S. Gray and Hendricks).

    • Nick Pollack says:

      You’re right, I should have removed the AGA label from Price.

      That said, Giolito/Thor are just slightly removed from AGA but their ceilings are vastly higher than Kyle Hendricks, who has an AGA.

      AGA is not a plateau, which means these cases can exist.

  7. Mike says:

    Hey Nick,

    Do you have any expectations with Glasnow for the remainder of the season? Thanks!

  8. Ryan says:

    Just a comment: Is it just me or has Zach Wheeler reached his form from the 2nd half last season, right at the moment the trade deadline passed?

    15 scoreless innings since the deadline. I know 8 of those came tonight against the Marlins…but I’m thinking he may be top 20 rest of the way?

  9. rainmaker says:

    I’m an avid reader of yours and occasional commenter and I have a few questions about my basic assumptions about your list. What exactly is your goal for ranking? I assume this is your rankings for the ROS but sometimes authors have slightly different goals. Also, what is your criteria for your rankings? Is it for standard leagues or is merely the quality of the pitcher? IE Is the possibility for wins baked into your rankings or ignored? How about park factors?

  10. Ryan says:

    Having trouble deciding between these guys. Would you replace any of these with Wheeler? You have Wheeler a few spots of Soroka, but I don’t know if that really justifies a drop. Thoughts?

    – Boyd
    – Smith
    – Soroka

  11. high_changeup says:

    Too high on Caleb Smith tbh. 4.34 FIP, still giving up loads of dongs. Marlin. He’s almost like your better Nick Pivetta.

    I missed out on adding Yarb but hopefully he’s consistently starting games now.

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